Shameful Obfuscations and Outright Lies at the UN Human Rights Committee Meeting

According to a local media report, Dr. Vincent Adams, former head of Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fired a salvo of accusations at the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) government following Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira’s appearance before the UN Human Rights Committee. In a scathing letter, Adams denounced Teixeira’s testimony as a “carefully prepared answer littered with gross untruthfulness.”

Teixeira’s claims particularly rankled Adams. She reportedly proclaimed that Adams “oversaw the 2016 Exxon/Government of Guyana Production Sharing Agreement (PSA)” – a deal widely criticized for its opacity – and that he concealed a mysterious $18 million signing bonus. Adams vehemently denied these accusations, calling them “a complete fabrication and disrespectfulness” towards the Committee.

Teixeira’s obfuscation extended beyond Adams’ case. Questions regarding extrajudicial killings and Bharrat Jagdeo’s alleged corruption were reportedly met with false assertions, while concerns raised by Mae Thomas were simply ignored.

The PPP/C government itself faced intense scrutiny during the 140th Session of the Human Rights Committee. The Committee, particularly Professor Laurence Helfer, the US-nominated candidate, raised concerns about the functionality of Guyana’s Public Procurement Commission (PPC). The PPC, a constitutional body tasked with ensuring fair and transparent government contracting, has been dogged by accusations of selective oversight and enabling graft.

Teixeira, representing Guyana, defended the PPC’s record. She attributed the commission’s slow pace to “missing files” allegedly removed by the previous administration and a lack of staff. Generally speaking, Teixeira’s claims were met with a stern warning. The Committee emphasized that the questions posed were meticulously researched, and Teixeira’s attempts to dismiss them as “lies” were unacceptable.

The PPP/C government’s failure to uphold transparency and accountability is deeply disappointing. Gail Teixeira was left in a precarious position, attempting to defend and maneuver through a barrage of questions to which she gave no credible response. It was evident that no member of the committee was swayed by her attempts to obscure the truth with obfuscations and outright lies.

The probing questions from the UN Human Rights Committee directed at Guyana’s PPP government were not only embarrassing on a national scale but also highlighted the urgent necessity for Guyana to fortify its anti-corruption measures and establish a system of fair and transparent governance.